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In other words what are you selling?

If you own a hearing healthcare practice and you answered, “hearing aids” then you answered incorrectly.  Rarely is it the actual product. Whether it’s a healthcare product, a vehicle or pretty much anything else. You’re selling a want or you’re selling a need.  In essence, what you should be selling is a solution to a problem.

Solving a Problem

As a general rule of thumb, people buy what they need or what they want.  In the example above it could be argued that a hearing aid falls into both categories.  But needing a product and choosing to buy the product is not always as easy as it sounds like it should be. Change your perspective and realize what your prospective customer needs/wants is a solution to a problem.  The key is in uncovering what the problem really is. When it comes to hearing aids, (anyone who’s ever sold one knows it’s not an easy product to sell) no one wants to by a hearing aid, instead what he or she wants to buy is:

  • A way to understand what their grandchildren are saying
  • An end to the embarrassment when they’re playing cards and miss a bid
  • A way to enjoy dining out again

You get the idea

Who Is Your Demographic

Potential consumers are inundated with offers to buy.  The better you understand your potential demographic, the more likely they are to choose you. Make sure your ad appeals to them.

  • Who is the audience for the ad, men, women or both?
  • Are they married, single, divorced, widowed?
  • What age range do they represent?
  • Where do they live?
  • Can they afford the product or service?
  • Does your ad appeal their wants, needs, values, and lifestyles?
  • Does your ad appear to solve their problem?

Call to Action

A “call-to-action” is a technique used by marketing companies and advertisers to capture a reader, viewer or visitors attention and guide them to the next step. For example, “Call Today”, “Call Now”, “Click Here for More Information”, Visit Us Online” and so on.

There are many “call to action” techniques, but a good call to action is only as good as the offer. If the product, service or promotion doesn’t fit a need or want, consumers will not see value in your call to action and more often than not, they’ll simply go to another source.

As a rule of thumb, when you’re coming up with a call to action for a promotion or deal. Ask yourself and those around you about it. If you find yourself saying “So What”, “Who Cares” or “Big Deal, your offer isn’t compelling enough and your ad will fail.

The Offer

You have competition either locally or via the Internet.  Find out what they’re doing.  At that point you have two choices.

  • Beat it
  • Compete on another front

A Unique Selling Proposition

A unique selling proposition, which defines your company’s unique position in the marketplace, is an often overlooked but very important element of creating a business that customers love.  “Everyone” is not your customer.  Your unique selling proposition may even alienate some prospective customers.

Your potential customers will end up somewhere.  If they’re going shopping for a car some will be shopping at the Toyota dealership, some the Ford Dealership and some the Mercedes dealership.  Each offer a different experience and it’s not just about the price point.

In the book Reality in Advertising, advertising executive Rosser Reeves outlines three rules that unique selling propositions should follow if they wish to be more than just creative branding:

  • Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer—not just words, product puffery, or show-window advertising. Each advertisement must say to each reader: “Buy this product, for this specific benefit.”
  • The proposition must be one the competition cannot or does not offer. It must be unique—either in the brand or in a claim the rest of that particular advertising area does not make.
  • The proposition must be strong enough to move the masses, i.e., attract new customers.

Make sure you are standing out for the right reasons, and that your brand’s positioning in your marketplace is intended to move what you sell, not just to stand out.